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baby. Thy little tale, sad at least to thy mother, though joyful to thee, must in its course too soon be told.
O, what a ferment did I excite on the joyful occasion of the birth of my son! to what expense did I go for lace, and corals, and rows of pearls, to put round his neck! with what a number of attendants did I provide him! My melancholy thoughts were now all fled, or if they sometimes returned for a moment, the smiles of my boy presently banished them. With my gaiety of heart, I again assumed my supercilious airs and love of pomp; and it was about this time that, having some very valuable seeds and plants sent me from China and the IndianArchipelago, I was determined to possess a real, not a figurative, garden of perfumes; and accordingly caused a finely situated piece of ground, in a sheltered situation, at no great distance from our house, to be encompassed with a square puckah wall, in which I assembled all that I could command of the rare and exquisite in the vegetable kingdom. The necessity of having a wall round my garden as a defence from wild animals, and the still more mischievous inhabitants of the neighbouring bazar, somewhat, indeed, troubled me, because it compelled me to exclude from my garden a view of the fine forest and mountain scenery which the situation afforded. It was, however, some consolation to find that, when the wall was built, some of the higher points of the hills were still visible above it, richly decorated with their thickets of latamer, their fan-like palms, their wide-spreading figtrees, the tamarind, the pepul, and cotton trees, with a thousand others of which I never even took the trouble to learn the names. To hide the wall, and decorate the fore-ground, was, therefore, all I had to do; and this was soon accomplished by the means of the magnolia, the loquot, the campion, with its silver bells, and a variety of those innumerable beautiful plants with which the tropical regions so generally abound. It was no difficult matter to procure water for my garden from a neighbouring stream on the hills, and from several wells which we caused to be dug; and when the whole ground was laid out by my directions, and all the beautiful flowers were arranged in their due order, the whole was completed by a small pavilion, or dome, which was erected in the cen
tre of the square; and which, being open on all sides, commanded a view of the garden in every direction.
"During one cold season I took great pleasure in my garden, frequently visiting it, and enjoying the fragrance of the flowers, and the presence of my children; and if there was nothing particularly praiseworthy in this amusement, it was at least by no means a blameable one; excepting that the effect was not what it ought to have been; for instead of these beauties filling me with gratitude to God, they served rather to elate me more and more, and to remove me further from him.
66 Prosperity was not good for me; and it was necessary, in order to my salvation, that I should find thorns among my roses, or that I should be appointed to suffer temporary afflictions, that I might be delivered from greater evils. But my reader may perhaps wish to know something of what was. passing at Bauglepore all this time.
"I had frequent letters from Euphemia, all of which were of a melancholy cast. Her father she described as being much in the state in which I had seen him during the first day of my visit at Bauglepore, though he seldom referred to any afflictive circumstances. Julia, she informed me, had put on mourning for her husband, but had shown few other tokens of sorrow; she had returned to her father's immediately on her becoming a widow; but, soon afterwards going down to Calcutta, had there married an old surgeon, who had nothing whatever to recommend him but his rupees, and she was living with him in considerable style near the Lal bazar. Öf her brothers, Euphemia said little in any of her letters. Celia she mentioned as living in some of the wild regions near the Sunderbunds, having a rapidly increasing family, and a husband who, depending only on some indigo plantations, was sometimes supposed to be worth money, and sometimes not to be in possession of a single pice. Lizzy and Lucretia, she observed, were still at home; but as she never said more than this respecting them, I supposed that she had nothing very agreeable to make known.
"C Respecting her own family, she spoke of her little Mucy as being a very delicate child, that she trembled
for her life; and expressed her regret, though with sub mission to the Divine will, that it was not practicable for them to remove from a country which had been so fatal to her children. Upon the whole, Euphemia's letters were of an extremely melancholy kind; though there was an air of piety diffused over these short epistles which diminished their gloom, and, even to my unsanctified imagination, seemed to suggest, that all would work together for good in the end for the humble and patient writer of them.
"It was soon after receiving one of these letters from Euphemia, that new fuel was added to my vanity, by a circumstance which I would now mention, and which is only worthy of notice from the effect it had on my mind. A king's regiment was, we heard, passing up the river in boats to the higher provinces; the colonel of this regiment had formerly been known to Mr. Milbourne, and my husband, on this occasion, resolved to entertain the officers and ladies, for two or three days, if he could persuade them to remain so long in our neighbourhood. We accordingly sent down an invitation to meet them by the way; and our invitation being accepted, and the whole fleet coming to anchor at the foot of the hill on which our house stood, we spent three of the gayest and most dissipated days I had ever experienced. We gave three public breakfasts, three dinners, and three balls, not allowing our entertainments of any kind to be abridged by the Sunday which intervened between our first and last day; and at the end of the period I, for once, was really glad of a cessation of display, gaiety, and compliments. The flatteries, however, which I received at this time, not only from our male visiters, but from the officers' ladies who were of our party, quite completed my own good opinion of myself, and of the various elegances and distinctions of my situation; and, from that time, if possible, I became more determinately vain than ever.
"When my beloved boy was about a year old, I had a daughter, whom I called Lucy; and, as soon afterwards as possible, another daughter, to whom we gave the name of Amelia.
"I never was so unfeeling and hardened as not to love my children, although they were all nursed by black
women; but there was, I fear, much of pride and vanity mingled with my more tender feelings, and I was more anxious respecting their external appearance than the qualities of their minds, or their spiritual welfare.
"And now I am come to that crisis in which my earthly paradise was at its highest bloom, and shed its sweetest fragrance. I had yet to learn the perishable nature of all enjoyments which depend on the creature; and I was soon to be made to feel those thorns which so frequently lie concealed beneath the sweetest flowers. Yet a little while, however, the storm was withheld, and I was suffered to live even without apprehension.
"My Amelia was only a few months old when I received a letter from Mr. Fairlie, informing me of the death of his little Lucy; and very shortly afterwards I had another communication from the same quarter, informing me that Euphemia had another daughter, that it was a fine child, and that the poor mother received this gift from Heaven as a token of comfort. A third letter, which arrived the next day from the same quarter, in the handwriting of Mr. Fairlie, however, surprised and alarmed me; and I opened it with the expectation of bad news; but I found, with pleasure, that it contained very desirable information.
"Mr. Fairlie, it seems, by the death of an uncle, had become the possessor of a handsome property, and resolved to return immediately to Europe, with his wife and child. This letter also informed me, that Euphemia intended to visit me, with her baby, before she left India; and it contained a kind offer from this excellent woman, to undertake the charge of one or all of my children, to convey them to England.
"Mr. Milbourne would gladly have accepted this offer for Mary Anne and Henry, but I would not hear of it; while I expressed the greatest pleasure in the prospect of seeing Euphemia before her departure.
Euphemia and Mr. Fairlie, with their baby, accordingly came to us, and showed us much affection: but whether I was changed, or Euphemia, or both of us; whether my high and self-satisfied condition of mind might be particularly ill suited to her feelings, which were considerably depressed; or whether she was become
nore heavenly minded and I much more the reverse than ormerly, I know not: but certain it was, that we never eemed less congenial to each other; and though I was omewhat affected when she left us, yet I was not sorry o get rid of her.
"I can, however, never forget that I had the cruelty at that time, notwithstanding her recent loss, to bring my children often before her; and to speak with pride in her presence of their healthy state, their beauty, and the delight I had in seeing them all before me. There was no tenderness in this display; it was pride, and only pride; which led me to make it. Euphemia, however, at length left me, and I saw her no more in India.
"A few months after her departure, my old friend Mr. Arnot, who was going up the country, called upon us, and staid a few days. We took this occasion to have our four children baptized; and the good man gave them his benediction. On the day which succeeded that of the baptism, I took occasion to show Mr. Arnot my garden; and while we were walking among its agreeable shades, I had a conversation with him which I never shall forget.
"As my story has run to a considerable length, I shall not now repeat this conversation; but shall only observe, that he gave me many earnest cautions against resting in earthly happiness; intimating that prosperity was not unfrequently productive of moral evil, and that under misfortunes real good was often communicated. Neither did this good man fail to point out to me, that sin was the only evil from which we ought to pray to be delivered; 'because,' observed this Christian teacher, 'he that is de- . livered from the punishment of sin by faith in Christ, and from the power of sin by the influences of the Holy Spirit, is as sure of true happiness as he is of the dissolution of his body.'
"I heard and remembered all that Mr. Arnot said to me at that time; but as his reasoning made me uneasy, I did what I could to forget it, and succeeded but too well for a time. I was scarcely less pleased at being relieved from Mr. Arnot's company than I had been by the departure of Euphemia; and was returning to my own mode of self-pleasing when these excellent persons were